Office for Nuclear Regulation

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LC 28 inspection at AWE

Executive summary

Purpose of intervention

This report covers interventions carried out as part of ONR's regulation of operations undertaken at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Interventions Carried Out by ONR

One intervention comprising a planned Compliance Inspection undertaken on project Mensa against the requirements of Licence Condition 28 (LC28 - Examination, Inspection, Maintenance and Testing - EIM&T).

The intervention was performed in line with ONR's guidance requirements (as described in our technical inspection guides) in the areas inspected.

Explanation of Judgement if Safety System Not Judged to be Adequate


Key Findings, Inspector's Opinions and Reasons for Judgements Made

Following this LC28 Compliance Inspection ONR judged that they would be seeking improvement from AWE Mensa regarding compliance against this LC. This is the first time that Mensa compliance with LC28 has been formally tested. It should be noted that there are no implications on the current nuclear safety of site operations from any of ONR's findings although future operations may be impacted.

AWE have implemented a local Plant Maintenance Schedule on the Mensa project but in my opinion AWE need to ensure that Arrangements are in place to ensure that any changes made to the PMS are appropriately controlled.

In my opinion, AWE need to establish an appropriate Suitably Qualified and Experienced Persons framework on the maintenance activities undertaken on the Mensa project. AWE personnel also need to confirm appropriate maintenance activities are being undertaken by witnessing a proportion of those activities carried out.

In my opinion, AWE need to establish an appropriate defect reporting process for the project that is outside the existing non-conformance process and is suitable for EIM&T activities. This needs to be recorded in formal Arrangements.

One of the most notable and welcome features from this intervention was the openness of the project team, the recognition that work was required and the commitment given by the project to improve.

Conclusion of Intervention

AWE agreed to action the above areas for improvement and report back to ONR during November 2016 on progress made. I will follow up and record progress using the ONR issues data base.